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How Arsenal played the media over Özil: the smelling of the rat

By Tony Attwood

In this final part of the saga of the summer transfers we come to the moment that one or two writers (not the rabid Anti-Wengerian blogs and their mates in the British media, but one or two outsiders) started to smell a rat.  The word got out; the events of the summer could not be explained as “typical” Wengerian penny-pinching and Gazidian incompetence.   Of course the blogs, media and negative associations tried like mad to hold on to the notion that something was desperately wrong, and even now they can’t admit that they actually were brilliantly used by Arsenal to secure the Özil deal, but the truth is their wild ranting did help cover the tracks of what Arsenal were really after.

And what Arsenal were after was not a deal involving a lot of money – but THE deal – the most amazing and sensational transfer, which was so brilliant that even Real Madrid fans and staff, still bursting with pride at yet again breaking the transfer record, could not believe that the club had let itself get into this position.

In effect Arsenal said to Madrid, we’ll give you the means to get all your publicity by getting you the money for Bale, by helping knocking up the price for Higuain, and by doing the Suarez thing to keep everyone off course.  We’ll even chip in with £42 million of our own – and pay quite a spot of it up front – but we want Özil.

Here’s how the always amusing Bleacher Report dealt with the story as they started to realise something was not right with the early simplistic accounts.  They wrote under the heading: We’ve been duped.

In mid-June, Wayne Veysey of Goal.com reported that Arsenal officials flew to Madrid to try to land forward Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid. Sid Lowe of The Guardian reported that the Gunners were on the verge of acquiring Higuain for £23 million, and that Real Madrid gave him permission to complete the deal.

And yet, no deal has been finalized. It doesn’t appear that one is going to be finalized any time soon either, mainly because Arsenal never made the Argentinian’s club an offer. That, and Real Madrid wants to hang onto Higuain, per Jack Lang of The Mirror….

Wenger needs to do everything in his power to improve his club this summer, and making an insanely high bid for Suarez isn’t going to help.

Arsenal have to make Real Madrid an offer for Higuain. He must be the main target. No more playing games. It’s time to sit down, discuss the potential transfer and make it happen.

“No more playing games” indeed.  But the games had only just started.

Meanwhile BBC correspondents started saying that Higuain was a bluff to get Suarez as Rafael Benítez’ Napoli, funded this through their sale to PSG were buying out the bits and pieces of Real Madrid’s team, and Tottenham were selling and spending like there was no tomorrow.

Out went Luongo for £413,600, Parker for £3,960,000, Huddleston for £5,104,000, Dempsey for £5,984,000 and Caulker for £8,000,000.  In came  Lamala for £26.4m Eriksen for £11.8m, Chiriches for £8.3m, Capoue for £9.6m, Solado for £26.5m, Chadli for £7.2m and Paulinho for £17.4m.

I know some of these figures might be wrong – they are quoted differently in different places – but my point is that Tottenham were balancing the summer’s sums, but to do so they needed for Real Madrid to be able to afford their man.  Napoli were helping (and PSG were helping Napoli) but still there was a missing player.  The silent Arsenal.

Real Madrid are of course different.  They do the impossible – like breaking the  world transfer record every few years.   There’s no backing out for Real Madrid because of their endless PR battle with bankrupt Barcelona, because Spain’s economy is dead, and likely to turn in its grave when Portugal starts defaulting, and there is that pesky business of the land transfer with the Madrid Authority, which the EU is now investigating and which could see them fined hundreds of millions.  The banks know that and won’t lend money like they used to, and life is awkward.  All those little details that are so boring to the anti-Wengerians who don’t like background when a four word catch phrase (Spend some….) is to hand, were coming home to roost.

And so Arsenal did the most daring thing.  Using the cover of the rabid rantings from the anti-Wengerians, combined with the increasingly strange commentaries from the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (made without consultation of the membership I may add – for as a Fanshare member I was never been asked an opinion and never even got a reply when I protested) and the weird doings of the Blackshirt (sorry Black Scarf) movement Arsenal used the cover to act.

To Real Madrid’s horror Mesut turned down the chance to go to PSG, seemingly on the grounds that he knows financial insanity when he sees it, and because (contrary to the view of the “Arsenal” bloggers), most top players see, know, and value Mr Wenger as a coach.  Indeed it was the phone call in German from Mr Wenger to Mesut that did the deal.  As Mesut said at the end, “I would have come for nothing”.

But still most people could not get beyond the media and AAA propaganda that Arsenal would never spend big.  Sport.co.uk were still battering away on Arsenal failures right close to the end: Arsenal fans are growing increasingly frustrated as their bid to sign Real Madrid’s Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain keeps stalling. For the move to go through Arsenals strict wage structure would have two (sic) be broken. With the deal hitting major stumbling blocks Rafael Benitez’s Napoli are ready to pounce, and due to the sale of Edison Cavani to PSG, the Italians have money to burn.

Thus just when those commentating on the plot might have seen that something else was afoot, all we got was Suarez bid a tactic in Arsenal’s Higuain pursuit? –  from ESPN FC and Arsenal missed out on Gonzalo Higuain to focus on Liverpool’s Luis from Off the Post.

In fact Napoli did believe that Arsenal could spot a brilliant player a light year away, but they also believed the anti-Arsenal propoganda and so thought that Higuain must be worth the money but Arsenal were trying to get the deal on the cheap.

The Telegraph did its bit to help with Arsenal preparing to join European superpowers with £70m boost on 6 June 2013.  With the bid for £40,000,001 for Saurez and the deal almost done for Higuain it looked as if Mr Gazidis’ comment was true.  All that was needed was for the media and its allies to do their anti-Arsenal stuff, and Napoli would bite.  And they bit.

Indeed the Mail were also delighted to do the bidding of the AAA and as late as 18 August ran the story…

Angry Arsenal fans have written to chief executive Ivan Gazidis to demand a change to the club’s transfer policy after Arsene Wenger’s team were beaten by Aston Villa on the opening day of the season.

Villa’s 3-1 win at the Emirates triggered an outpouring of frustration from those Arsenal supporters disillusioned with the direction of the club under Stan Kroenke.

Arsenal have a healthy bank balance, record huge profits and boast of a £70million transfer chest yet, despite making noises to the contrary, they have so far failed to compete with Europe’s richest clubs at the top end of the transfer market.

Finally, however, Talksport, showing some real insight ran this on August 28: The fallout from Gareth Bale’s impending move to Real Madrid has threatened to work in Arsenal’s favour, with rumours this week suggesting that either Angel di Maria or Mesut Ozil could be sold off to the Gunners. The German has firmly denied that he will leave the Bernabeu, dealing a blow to Arsenal, but that may not be the worst news in the world, as the North London side were only likely to sign one of the pair from the Bernabeu anyway.

But by then Real Madrid had to sell the player Arsenal wanted because of last season, which in terms of the duopoly in Spain was a disaster for them.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Barcelona 38 32 4 2 115 40 +75 100
2 Real Madrid 38 26 7 5 103 42 +61 85
3 Atlético Madrid 38 23 7 8 65 31 +34 76

So Real Mad had to do the PR trick to keep up the track record of leading the way….

Player From Transfer Fee £m
Gareth Bale Tottenham 85 September 2013
Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United 80 June 2009
Kaká Milan 56 July 2009
Zinedine Zidane Juventus 45 July 2001
Luís Figo Barcelona 37 July 2000
Karim Benzema Lyon 30 August 2009
Xabi Alonso Liverpool 30 August 2009
Luka Modrić Tottenham 30 September 2012

Compared with Barcelona –

Name Final fee with extras From Year
Neymar £49m Santos FC 2013
Zlatan Ibrahimović £42m Internazionale 2009
Cesc Fàbregas £41M Arsenal 2011
David Villa £37M Valencia 2010
Alexis Sánchez £24M Udinese 2011

Thus Real Mad needed to reduce their expenditure while being seen to behave as extravagantly as always.  And Arsenal gave them the mechanism.

In the end Mesut Ozil said that a long telephone conversation with Arsène Wenger convinced him to sign for Arsenal

Özil told Die Welt: “Somehow this telephone call just flicked a switch in me. I thought: ‘What he is telling me is what I have missed at Real: transparency, trust, respect.’ He told me exactly how he sees me [as a player], how he wants to use me, what he expects from me and what he hopes I will contribute.  The transfer fee has nothing to do with me. I would have joined Arsenal on a free.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, and ZZ all expressed their horror at the transfer and Joachim Löw, said he found the transfer “incomprehensible”.

So there we have it.  Not just a transfer, but one of the most outrageous transfers of all time.  A transfer so amazing that even those within the selling club are protesting.

But let’s go back to where we started.  With Just Arsenal News, quoted in the first article in this little series.  “This is totally unacceptable and disgraceful
.
So it goes.  I guess one just has to avoid believing what one reads in the press.  And the blogs.  And from certain associations.

110 comments to How Arsenal played the media over Özil: the smelling of the rat

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    Tony

    It’s to complicated for the doomers to get. Nothing like a simple message, “spend some F**king money”, “Wenger out!”

  • Raghav

    Just a small correction, Tony. Wasn’t Cesc sold at 29 million pounds (+5 million variable)?

  • TT

    And a transfer that was oppertunist. Which asks the question if Madrid had not bought Bale or If Ozil had gone to PSG would we have bought anyone?

  • Lobster

    Wow.. This makes too much sense, but the “problem” is that this is an unapologetically pro-Arsenal site, that fact has to detract a little of the credibilty. After all, it won’t come as a surprise that Arsenals #1 fan-site will try to paint a perfect, awesomely awesome picture of the Club
    Nevertheles, this article provides a healthy portion of food for thought

  • Sceptical

    I’d love this to be true but there is a major flaw.

    If it was all as neatly wrapped in advance as you claim then Ozil’s signature would have been on the paper 10 minutes after Bale fluffed his keepie uppies.
    In fact it went very close to the wire, leaving the Arsenal fanbase with the shortest finger nails in world football.

    Whatever, I don’t care. Ozil is a Gooner!!!!!!

  • soglorious

    Sincerely speaking, Tony you lost me. This is a little bit confusing pal. Okay, let me read again and see if I could understand.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Thanks, Tony. Many good points indeed.

    The picture is not as bad as some paint it after all, but it sure isn’t as rosy as you see it either. The point is that Arsenal came up trumps at the end, but will Ozil alone be the answer to our quest for glory?

    Will Ozil start next Saturday against Sunderland?!

  • The font

    A great article well written . But I am a little concerned that for arsenal to conspire with Madrid to push the price up of a player To a third party .Maybe breaking many rules and may infact be illegal
    I hope I am wrong if what you transcribe is true.

  • Finally the pain arsenal felt when they sold Van Persie to Manual United has Been transferred to the Spanish Capital… #gracias

  • dandan

    Terrific stuff Tony,
    Like you I find the AST and Black Scarf mob pathetic in their breathtaking arrogance. What is more important however in this scenario is the further evidence that the Americans have introduced a tougher professional business ethic into the clubs dealings. That allied to AW’s vision and sense of purpose, will ensure their statement that the clubs future business model is not just financially sound, but built on the playing success of the football club will be seen to be correct in the years ahead.

  • Legolas

    Arsenal this year will win the EPL i have a hunch

  • Timmy

    Cool write up. Love the idea the write up is as confusing as the smoke screen Arsene uses to confuse the lot.

    This is Arsene’s definition of Class: Transparency, Trust and Respect. I doubt we have much entity in the world with that let alone a football club.

    As for me, Arsene has my support any time, any day, any moment

  • potter

    Maybe instead of the facts a story made to fit them , nice reading though , very conspirital.Quite Le carre inspired.

  • para

    We should have made it look like AFC were lucky in the end, but i think all of us needed this boost in club confidence even though we do not want to tip off the other clubs on our strategies. They will be watching us very closely from now on i bet.

  • para

    Whoaa. Just got a strange feeling that Rooney will end up at Arsenal sometime. Wonder why?

  • Shevo

    This has indeed been a strange transfer window for 2 reasons

    1 – the inflated price paid for a number of these players (Ozil included)

    2. The number of players linked to Arsenal and yet not one deal was even close to being done until the last day.

    Does beg the question as to whether Arsenal knew exactly what they were doing and played a great poker hand. Or we we just lucky.
    In any case I think the Ozil deal was a great bit of business even at that price. He could be the Dennis Bergkamp type signing to kick start a new era where we sign more players of his ilk every season. I also believe AW’s hands have now been untied and Kroenke has finally woken up and decided to let us compete more so the manager can work his magic and start winning trophies again.
    In Arsene We Must Trust.

  • mark

    Fantastic signing. Well played arsenal. Let’s do it this saturday

  • Pete

    An interesting article on the AST here:

    http://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/the-ast-where-did-it-all-go-wrong/

    It seems that most commenters so far agree that the AST have screwed up big time here.

  • graham clarke

    All true the bigger arsenal haters are sky sports who are m u all the way most bloggers with arsenal in title then the rags and arsenal fans with no mind follow

  • The question is put, if the Ozil had failed, what then? I can’t answer that, except that my impression – and it is just that – is that Arsenal knew exactly what they were doing all the way through. The statements such as Gazidis’ one about having the money, Wenger’s comment about the transfer window starting now (with a week or so to go) and the whole thing about getting Higuain over and then doing nothing, with Wenger saying Higuain was never on Arsenal’s radar – all of it makes it look to me like a well-planned operation.

    But, I also have no doubt that there were back-ups. Indeed on that day when we signed Arteta et al, I’ve often wondered if there were not just such a huge deal as Ozil, only it did fall apart, and the backups were the players that we saw come through.

    The point is that buying early is nice, announcing “I want Rooney and no one else” in the style of Chelsea, is fun, but ultimately you need the agreement of the player and the selling club, and so the buyer can’t always get it done as he wants when he wants.

    I’m sure that for every time Ferguson said, “We do the deal by July 1 or we don’t deal” and got away with it, there was another where the selling club just said, “no, we do it to our timetable or not at all”.

    In the end, I’m just delighted Ozil is with us, and I still have a little giggle about the “This is totally unacceptable and disgraceful” stuff on Just Arsenal News.

    And I’m pleased it is not just me who is really pissed off with the AST. I buy into Fanshare as part of my support for the club. But AST are neither asking my opinion nor representing my views.

  • jayjay

    @Graham Clarke you have my big support sky ports and its presenters never wanted the ozil deal to go through considering the fact that manure was failing on herera and you could see it on their faces. Finally I have someone who sees wat I have always seen.

  • As always Arsene tells you that he just cant buy and dick or harry he buys class.
    And ooh boy he is spot on. Just wait for the January transfer and you will never see any sewer rat again.
    I wonder where they are these days!Yeah, forgoten in the sewers as always. Thanks for that piece Tony keep them coming.

  • Matt

    Give me strength. I have not been here for a while and still the same cobblers post after post. Not an AAA in sight and yet it’sstill the same drivel.

    Tony you should stop with this blog for your own sanity.

  • Slysoulman

    Interesting read.

  • finsbury

    It’s been an age since we’ve had dear Matt above comment.

    Almost as honest as those hacks that never acknowledge the long term planning that we can see that AFC attempt to put into their transfers: e.g. friendlies as apart of the Plodders deal the summer before and after he joined (only worth a few million each!).

    Long drawn out transfers for long term targets (like, er, Ozil!) is Arsenal’s default mode of operation. Their preference.

    But why should be let the observed record get in the way of a good meme.

  • finsbury

    There’s more:

    Friendlies as apart of the Mertesacker deal (another long term target)…Arteta’s interview after joining explaining how he initially had talks at the start of that Summer…CL qualification (what value has £30M? Spend some money goddammit!! Now!)…the use of techniques (also known as the deadline day daredevils) to avoid Gas clubs gazumping your targets (Willian)…

    Just a part of the record.

  • Pete

    Tony,

    I am not an AST member, but do feel that supporters’ trusts should be (and in most cases are) extremely positive forces in the world of professional football (several clubs have been saved through their existence). So they are not “just another fans’ group”. As they have gone completely off message and have destroyed their credibility – is there any mechanism to force an EGM to change the committee? Or to seek clarification of their Articles of Association?

    Their behaviour over the last year or two, culminating in their press release over Wenger’s contract renewal, is completely unacceptable to me.

    If the management can be changed, I’ll join up…

    By contrast, AISA have been a model of probity during this period.

  • Tristan

    Do you have any shred of evidence or facts to backup what you’ve said?

    I don’t appreciate your tone being factual when it is in fact a theory you are giving. Do you understand my problem Tony?

    I actually don’t know if it’s true or not (it could be, it might not be) but I have a real problem with your tone being factual the whole way through the article. It, in fact, shows as much arrogance as the people you lambast (just from the other side of the fence).

    Do you not see the obvious irony in your last paragraph Tony?

    “So it goes. I guess one just has to avoid believing what one reads in the press. And the blogs. And from certain associations.”

    ps I am not anti-Wenger, but I am pro-‘a balanced opinion’

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Nice change of tune Tony, you’ve gone from “Arsenal and Madrid conspiracy” to “Arsenal in high stakes poker”, which I believe is a misquote of Alex Ferguson KBE.
    I still think the narrative works better with Levy’s idiotic meddling leaving Madrid desperate for cash, knowing that Arsenal were the only ones still at the table and being forced to sell one of their prized assets.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Timmy @ 9.40am:

    Class = Transparency + Trust + Respect.

    Thanks for picking up on that. I just thought that it needed to be made bold, underlined highlighted in red. All of which Untold makes impossible to do. So, I hope the equation helps.

    May be one day, Arsenal fans will realize that there are not too many coaches out there with as good an eye for footballing talent and as much class (see above definition), candor and balance as their coach, Arsene Wenger, who they so much love to vilify.

  • AL

    Anyone who still thinks you can get a player of Ozil’s stature by accident must be dreaming.

    As for the plot I know it all sounds a little complicated but then again nothing Wenger does is obvious, is it. So I will go with Tony’s explanation. It’s apparent there was more to what we were reading/hearing in the media, and this could explain most of it. A lot of things didn’t make sense then; like the Suarez bid & how Arsenal appeared to be prepared to speak publicly about that bid(even though its possible we wanted him, think AW knew he wouldn’t join then but maybe in the future, making it more of a smokescreen), why we couldn’t up our bid a little for Hig to fend Napoli off if we thought Suarez was worth £40m+, why Wenger kept saying we are working hard, finally culminating in the ‘we might have a surprise for you’ comment in the post match interview.

    Whatever the case, you don’t wake up with a player of that magnitude at your club just by sheer luck, esp in a world with clubs with lots of oil money & russian ruble to burn, unless you threw an insane amount of money at it. Its just not possible, it would just take someone from Madrid to pick up the phone and Ozil could have gone for £20m more at least(the spuds found out at their expense when Chelsea gazumped their move for Willian. Chelsea themselves once suffered a similar fate with Robinho). Madrid knew how ‘desperate’ we were and could’ve asked for £50m+ or easily offered him to another club prepared to pay that, but they chose not to. Utd & PSG were sniffing around when news that this deal was going to happen gathered momentum, with PSG reported to have made an offer, but they couldn’t do anything about it. Utd would have definitely offered more too considering they lack a playmaker in their MF and were forced to settle for Fellaini to save their faces. This shows there is definitely more to what we know.

    That this transfer has sent shockwaves in the football world just shows what a major coup it was. IMO it has overshadowed Bale’s record breaking transfer; I haven’t seen/read as many articles or heard as many comments(from football managers & players alike) about Bale’s transfer as those for Ozil’s transfer. This was the signing of the summer, period.

    Credit to AW & IG, any talk of how lucky we were is just being disrespectful.

  • Matt Clarke

    Tony,

    A great series of articles and an even better story.

    I would add (to the body of evidence):- a few days before the transfer, AW in a press interview. He claimed that the transfer(s) would be ‘surprising’ and had a very pleased look on his face.

  • The ArsenalRanter

    I too am extremely miffed at the AST & their misrepresentation of fans’ views. As a Fanshareholder too, I was horrified with the vilification spewing out when I’d not had my own views represented whatsoever! No polls, no letters, emails asking my opinions, bloody cheeky bar stewards.
    I have always remained a glass half full type of supporter and have always backed Wenger in these dark periods. The man has already proven what an astute, intelligent man he is as well as constantly proving his coaching and managerial credentials so how the anti- Wenger brigades and spiteful media hit-whores ridicule the man with absolutely no factual evidence, just speculation, rumour and assumption, is beyond me. I’m not however, as some may assume, a fan who loves Wenger more than the club, nor do I have any idea of what the view is like within the landscape of Mr. Wenger’s rectal realm. I just trust that the coach who has brought so much to the club in the past, is still doing a great job and despite the lack of trophies for 8 years, has been doing the BEST he has been able to do (or that anyone else would have). But I’ve always said that this year will be the start of something new (yes, I have evidence of that) for Arsenal. A new era, as I like to put it and the Özil signing, be it an accident or conspiracy, is merely the second step….the first step was made a while ago and I believe that first step was the building of the current collection of players with the British core. As we saw, the run they made in the tail end of last season was the evidence we needed that this team CAN compete with the best. Wenger knows what he’s doing, he always has. Some people, fans, journalists just don’t have the intelligence to see it.
    Great article. Love the positivity.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Just demonstrates how much can be going on beneath the surface. The thing about Ozil, just as well nobody seemed to know he was available until the last minute, if he had been up for grabs from earlier on, we would have faced competition from City, Utd, Chelsea and most likely Buyin Munich to name but a few. I am also quite sure the Spuds would have wanted such players as part of the Bale deal, but as we know, the true elite want Champions League football. Just goes to show how important the last day goals two seasons in a row from our £8m French league 2 defender signing actually were. And how much rubbish those so called fans on Talksport and the AAA sites who did not want us to qualify for the CL were spouting.
    Ozil may indeed have been an opportunistic signing, but have a feeling Wenger would have taken any combination of the Madrid 3, and knew he would get at least one of them.
    In recent years, some of the AAA and their friends have wanted Wenger replaced by the likes of Moyes, O Neil and even Owen Coyle, I am sure in their own way decent managers at their own levels, but would the likes of Ozil want to play under honest but limited bibs and cones men?….and as for Moyes, think there is far more to come as his limitations become clear, wonder how long VP will be happy there playing such football now he has his league winners medal?
    Wenger has clearly played poker…and won

  • Mandy Dodd

    Now we have Ozil – does this mean we will start playing Cescball again?

  • Tristan, the series started with admitting that the insiders who provided me information assured me that Higuain was on the way, so my track record is shot to pieces. But, it does seem to me that the evidence that we do have regarding the events of the summer make little sense as a set of random unrelated actions. Of course other theories could be put together to explain the comments that were made by Gazidis and Wenger, the wholesale reporting of Higuain coming to London, the huge rise in the cost of Higuain between the moment of his supposed trip to London and the signing by Napoli, and the Suarez episode, but this explanation is the only one that seems to pull it all together. All the others that I have read leave out various issues, but at the end of the day, it remains a theory.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Life is all about timing…
    the unreachable becomes reachable,
    the unavailable become available,
    the unattainable… attainable.
    Have the patience, wait it out It’s all about timing.”

    Stacey Charter

  • Stuart

    I don’t know enough about the AST but not heard a good word about them I must add and in regards to the Black Scarf Morons (Bull Shit Merchants), all I can gather they do is have piss ups on a boat on the Thames and block you on Twitter when you have a differing opinion and try to debate something. For once they should take a step back and look at the whole picture to see what is really going on. Also, with the Bull Shit Merchants, never has the saying ‘don’t believe your own hype’ been more appropriate.

  • AL

    This article in the link below(before Hig signed for Napoli) suggests Madrid wanting to fund the Bale purchase with the Higuain money and wanting to get the most out of his sale. And it also hints at mind games going on;

    http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/415254/Real-must-sell-Arsenal-target-Gonzalo-Higuain-to-fund-move-for-Spurs-star-Gareth-Bale

    I absolutely loved the second comment in the comments section:)

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The biggest mistake by most human beings:
    Listening half,
    Understanding quarter,
    Telling double.

    It’s better to walk alone , than with a crowd going in the wrong direction . Diane Grant .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    “An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.” –Thomas Fuller

    “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence — that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”–Mario Andretti

  • Pete

    One of the commenters on the ArsenalArsenal story suggests adopting the campaign slogan:

    “We want our AST back”.

    A fine idea!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Al – nice link .Thanks

  • Mandy Dodd

    See a few mentions about the Black Scarf movement – maybe I am out of touch and out of date on them, but, in fairness, werent they more of an anti greed in football and anti what they saw as ripping off fans bunch… as opposed to a Wenger out group? Do not want to go over board defending a group I know little about but I have corresponded with a couple of them on various forums, they guys seemed to take offence at being linked with manager out campaigns, especially to do with their protests,one guy was very pro wenger saying he was the only one in the clubs management who knew anything / cared about the game and that we would be lost without him, thought they also took a very reasoned stance on issues such as safe standing. They dont seem too keen on Kronke though! But if they have changed into something else, as it seems the AST have, my apologies for raising this

  • In other word, leave the board and management of the club alone in peace to do their jobs. They are clearly better at them than the noisy fans and the pathetic media.

    Can the same ‘fans’ who have been breathing down the necks of these professionals teaching them how to do their jobs now focus on doing theirs which is supporting the team?

    Let’s hope they finally support the team or get out of the way by not undermining the manager and players in the course of doing theirs.

  • Stuart

    Mandy Dodd,
    Re the BSM, yes, that is what they said they were about but all the evidence was there pointing to it being a masquerade. Their website forum is plastered with anti Wenger comments, have a look at some of the Youtube videos (particularly fromtheir boat party) and you’ll see them chanting Wenger out!!

    In all honesty, it’s a little boys club comparable in operation to the ‘English Defence League’

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Bootoomee – Dream on ! They have no interest other than to try and piss off true supporters . The day they come up with some new or refreshing idea , I’ll sit up and listen .
    Nah , just joshing !
    I’ll ignore them and chill out like old Charlie here …

    http://pinterest.com/pin/253749760227584735/

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thanks Stuart, a bit of a shame – I must have been corresponding with the more sensible end of their spectrum, or at least those masquerading as that!

  • naked goon

    Arsenal getting together with a club to manipulate a transfer situation?
    Different scenario but, Clive Allen anyone….?

  • colario

    For 3 months I didn’t believe word about who we were ‘interested in’ ‘inquiring about’ because there wasn’t anything coming from Arsenal. On Sunday we were suddenly linked with Ozil, for me it was just media hike.
    I did hearArsene say something would happen before the deadline and I saw that ‘smile’ but thought wait and see.

    It seems I had been nobbled by the media hike and for once couldn’t believe Arsene. A bad day for me. Sorry Arsene.

  • Brickfields Gunners,

    One can only hope and I am a staunch optimist 🙂

    I will continue to hope they just shut up and support the team. Afterall they are not players, not manager, not CEO, not board members; they are supporters. They should just shut the hell up and support the team.

    Those who feel strongly against how the team is run can always suspend/withdraw their support by giving up the membership/season tickets. It’s not by force.

    Whether the AST, BSM, AAA and the media like it or not, Arsenal remains a private company and the owners have every right to run it as it as they see fit. And they are running it pretty well with great class.

    I love your link. Yes, life is better spent than on arguing with stupid people.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I am unabashedly pro-Wenger and maybe what Tony says is true but it strikes me as an declaration of faith that our guys know what they are doing. Maybe it didn’t happen the way Tony says but I agree with what I would say is his main premise: that our club’s leaders are NOT incompetent but rather quite intelligent, passionate and ambitious.

  • I blame the Internet 🙂

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I would tend to suspect that Özil was not available until Bale was officially a Madrid player. The insanity of the transfer points to a very narrow window of opportunity to sell and a desperate need for cash – that is the method we used to purchase Cazorla.

  • Tristan

    One question though..

    If Higuain and Suarez were essentially pawns in a game to get Özil, why didn’t we get a striker at all? I think it’s pretty clear we needed one, I mean even Bendtner was almost on his way out until we pulled him back on the Monday due to not aquiring Ba’s services.

    If we knew all along we weren’t going to get Higuain or Suarez, how come all we managed was a half arsed attempt at a loan for Ba on the final day..?

    All I’ll say is Wenger is sitting on a retirement goldmine with his autobiography if he ever decided to do one.. can you imagine?!!!

  • Wooby

    Tony, I think you can add one more AW quote that fits neatly into your theory – when AW said there was no chance he was going back for Suarez. Looking back now, I wonder if by that time, there was enough in place that once RM got Bale, we would get Ozil. The move for Suarez and AW’s willingness to talk about it struck me as unusual – unless it was a very public way to declare to RM that there is £40M available provided AW gets the player he really wants. AW also said at one point something to the effect that there would be a bit of a domino effect regarding transfers (i.e. his transfer plan depends upon the movement of one player first). The media, if I recall, interpreted this as referring to RM landing Suarez then selling Benzema to us, rather than Bale / Ozil.

    RM understood and then did their part to “unsettle” Ozil by substituting him and playing him out of position. Both sides then muddied the waters by throwing out rumours regarding Benzema and Di Maria in order to throw others off, including Spuds. One thing that has not been mentioned a lot was Spuds’ dragging of their heels in the sale of Bale – maybe RM felt Spuds would not sell or ask for an even higher fee if they found out Ozil would be coming to us so they felt obliged to play along.

    As for why we announced Ozil’s signing rather late on transfer day, I wonder if that was by design in order to enhance our chances of landing Ba. Can you imagine Roman’s reaction if he found out that we signed Ozil and further enhanced our team with a loan for Ba?

  • A. Stewart

    @ Wollwich, pretty much. That’s what most non-conspiratorists think.

    Bale cost a shit load of money, someone had to make way, and it was between Benzema (unlikely as he is their out and out striker especially with Higuain gone), DiMaria and Ozil. Reports suggest that DiMaria was far more conilatory with playing anywhere or reduced playing time than was Ozil based on the arrival of Bale and Isco, who obviously will feature a lot, as that is the way Perez does things when he splashes big on statements of intent purchases.

    Ozil didn’t hear what he wanted to hear and decided that he won’t be concilatory and then decided to leave. Everything happened pretty quickly as with all transfer deals with a closing window, we punced, had the cash, and did work to convince the player to come.

    Seems far more believeable that all this convoluted 3-part series of conspiracy involved diversions and media/blog manipulation, months of secret collusion amongst multiple parties and players etc.

    One thing that UA refuses to address, is that Ozil himself said that within hours of the tranfer window closing he still expexted to be a Madrid player until it became clear that they weren’t going to give him the assurances he wanted and pushed him to leave based on the arrival of Bale and previously Isco.

  • Matt

    So are you all saying now that Wenger didn’t want to sign Suarez and it was all a rouse to sign Ozil on the last day of the window?

    Well considering Ozil said about a week before he signed for us that he had no intention of leaving Madrid it seems unlikely and that he was forced out.

    Considering our massive need for CF i reckon Wenger would have brought Suarez given the oppurtunity and that Ozil became available towards the end of the window so Wenger decided to get him.

    No wonderous plan or black magic but just an oppurtunity that Wenger deciced to take.

  • Matt

    Some of you on here are either mental or need to lay of the weed.

  • sukebe

    Conspiracy… LoL. Great thoughts..
    But what about the ones with gervinho sell in it?

    Btw, abt just arsenal, they are tabloid web blog, they will ran any stories…

  • Matt,

    Yet you can’t help but hang out among these crazy or high people. What does this say about your own state of mind?

    The day that I think that “Some ….. on here are either mental or need to lay of the weed” is the day that I keep my distance. But then I am neither crazy nor ever on drugs.

  • sukebe

    Matt, the way i see, i think you’re the one who needs a strong dose of nitrazepam…

    Just go back to that tabloidish web blog, so you can be god like again…

  • sukebe

    Oh and Matt..

    Do Arsenal really in desperation need CF?

  • HenryB

    We will never know what the true timeline of all these events was, as we can only feed off snippets we read in the media, here and abroad.

    It is possible that the prosaic truth was that Arsenal were desperately trying to land a quality player and became distracted over time first from capturing Jovetic when Higuain seemed gettable, and then taking their eye off Higuain when they were led to believe that Suarez could be bought for a sum greater than £40m, and then when that went south we were up shit creek without a paddle, until finally, to Arsenal’s relief and great joy, RM’s need for cash allowed us, at the last moment, to buy Ozil who happened to be better than all the other options anyhow.

    On the other hand, I love the convoluted and complicated story in today’s Post so much that I hope it is true. It has about it the feel, and the smoke and mirrors of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Player.

  • A. Stewart

    1-“In effect Arsenal said to Madrid, we’ll give you the means to get all your publicity by getting you the money for Bale, by helping knocking up the price for Higuain, and by doing the Suarez thing to keep everyone off course.”

    More realistically, Napoli sold Cavani for a bucketload of money, needed a striker replacement, knew Higuain was on the market and Real Madrid were able to up their price, because simple economics supports that there is now increased demand for a limited asset and a party with the known ability to pay more.

    2-“which was so brilliant that even Real Madrid fans and staff, still bursting with pride at yet again breaking the transfer record, could not believe that the club had let itself get into this position.”

    I think anyone with remote knowledge of Florentino Perez and his galactico policies, knows that this really is not that unprecedented. Sure you can argue that Ozil may have been the biggest name to make way for his galactico way of doing things, but other may argue Micelle was a bigger loss, and other players like Sneijder and Robben who suffered the same fate as Ozil have gone on to stellar careers winning the CL along the way. And in all cases (regardless of the difference in their actual situations), some players and fans and outside observers were in bewilderment of Perez doing this and pushing these players out..Perez pushing top players to leave (and not over the hill either) that may not be as shiny or marketable as his brand new galactico toys without regard for infield chemistry and the like IS NOTHING NEW, It’s happened before, heck it happened just this summer with Higuain too. Someone always benefits, Chelsea, Inter and Bayern did and won lots of trophies with those cast-offs as their key players, maybe Napoli will, and hopefully Arsenal will too! But this is not some unprecedented genius masterstroke by us, rather this is what happens and has happened when Perez makes his galactico moves.

    b) “A transfer so amazing that even those within the selling club are protesting.”

    Again, not the first time this has happened. You seriously don’t remember the outcry in Madrid circles at getting rid of Makelele who was widely viewed as the glue that held everything together amongst those big stars? I’ll post more on that below.

    2-“To Real Madrid’s horror Mesut turned down the chance to go to PSG, seemingly on the grounds that he knows financial insanity when he sees it,”

    Two things how can you prove Madrid’s horror, and also that Ozil non-move to PSG was based on financial “insanity”?

    To rational observers there are many reasons why Ozil would choose Arsenal over PSG (regardless of if he could have gotten paid more).
    – Style of play is closer to what he prefers (he said this)
    – More German team-mates, a manger that is fluent in the language.
    – Less competition in terms of numbers in the squad and big name players, so therefore he is guaranteed more playing time in a favored role than at PSG, which is especially important in a world cup year.
    – More stability, which seems important to Ozil based on his comments regarding Madrid.
    – PSG has a recent structure where its hierarchy and directors interfere with first team matters, therefore given that Ozil obviously suffered at Madrid precisely because of this, a club like Arsenal with no such interference nor even a director of football as at PSG and Madrid may be more appealing as a result.
    – Perhaps location and league were also more appealing.

    3-“But still most people could not get beyond the media and AAA propaganda that Arsenal would never spend big. Sport.co.uk were still battering away on Arsenal failures right close to the end:”

    What exactly is the issue with this? Arsenal under Wenger traditionally didn’t spend big, Wenger has long (before AFC even) spoken about his feelings on spending big in the sport, the last few windows it’s been increasingly clear that the club was flush with cash and didn’t spend big or rather as big as it could on top quality, Wenger has made MANY statements over the years about having money to spend, and then not doing so, and only if it could improve etc etc, and then did nothing/little, and he was making many of the same noises again..So what did you expect, people to ignore years of precedent and think all of a sudden things will be different with the clock ticking away? And for doing so to you they are what? Cretins? Less of a fan than you? People had the right to be skeptical. And frankly there are still some who while happy with the Ozil signing still think more could have been done within our resources to improve depth, depth in quality, and bigger priority areas..

    One thing UA always ask for is facts, evidence, quotes etc to back up assertions (well usually when they disagree with Wenger or the club’s policies.)

    My Dear Sir, you have now set the bar very low with this three part series and it’s total lack of evidence and supporting facts, and it at least to me will be borderline hypocritical to in the future ask for evidence and facts (as has been your m.o.) in disagreeing with the opinions of others.

    I submit:

    -“but the truth is their wild ranting did help cover the tracks of what Arsenal were really after.”

    -“we’ll give you the means to get all your publicity by getting you the money for Bale, by helping knocking up the price for Higuain, and by doing the Suarez thing to keep everyone off course.”

    -“I know some of these figures might be wrong – they are quoted differently in different places ”

    -“Using the cover of the rabid rantings from the anti-Wengerians”

    -“To Real Madrid’s horror Mesut turned down the chance to go to PSG, seemingly on the grounds that he knows financial insanity when he sees it”

    -“In fact Napoli did believe that Arsenal could spot a brilliant player a light year away, but they also believed the anti-Arsenal propoganda and so thought that Higuain must be worth the money but Arsenal were trying to get the deal on the cheap.” (also by the way to many Higuain, one of the most efficient strikers over the last 5 years, one of the highest assisting strikers, in club and international football (world cup hatrick and all that) despite not having the backing of his club’s hierarchy and time on the field [remember the article on this very site about just that???]as many of the flashier names and who is still only 25, is worth the money paid for him).

    Anyway given how low you set the bar with these statements above and throughout the series as fact and lack of evidence, it’s really going to be hard to remain credible when you ask others for facts and evidence, and tout their importance in UA’s values.

  • sukebe

    A. Stewart

    Wow you are really digging out to the very last bones…

  • Matt

    @ Bootoome

    I would suggest you need to get on the weed pronto.Might calm you down and help you chill out a bit and not take everything so seriously. I say this because i care.

    @ Sukebe You, football & postage stamp.

  • sukebe

    @matt

    Ooohhh…. You are witty…

  • sukebe

    Matt
    I just love how smart ass chasing down asses..

    No, you can’t have mine..

  • A. Stewart

    Further to the point that anyone with casual knowledge of Florentino Perez and his seeming lunacy will know this is not the first time he has pushed out top players to the protest of his fans and his players (heck there were even fans not wanting Higuain to go and over the years protesting at how he has been treated by Perez).

    So while Tony seems to go at length to invent this story of this being some unique genius never been done before, masterstroke, quite frankly we are just another of several clubs to have benefitted from Florentino’s galactico lunacy.

    There was still work to do to convince the player, and a damn fine job by Wenger and the team was done to do so with time running out in the face of competition, and they should be rightly congratulated!!

    But to try to make it out to be far more than this, in a transparent effort to level attacks on targets (media, AAA, whatever) is just disingenuous imo.

    I submit Claude Micelle (from Wiki):

    Perez: “We will not miss Makélelé. His technique is average, he lacks the speed and skill to take the ball past opponents, and ninety percent of his distribution either goes backwards or sideways. He wasn’t a header of the ball and he rarely passed the ball more than three metres. Younger players will arrive who will cause Makélelé to be forgotten.”

    His opinion differed from that of players like Zidane, who remarked the following after Makélelé was sold and Beckham was bought:

    Zidane: “Why put another layer of gold paint on the Bentley when you are losing the entire engine?”

    In his autobiography, published in 2006, McManaman described Makélelé as the most important and yet least appreciated midfielder at Real.

    Retired former Real Madrid player and captain Fernando Hierro also criticized Pérez for both Makélélé’s departure and the manner of his departure, saying:

    Hierro: “I think Claude has this kind of gift – he’s been the best player in the team for years but people just don’t notice him, don’t notice what he does. But you ask anyone at Real Madrid during the years we were talking about and they will tell you he was the best player at Real. We all knew, the players all knew he was the most important. The loss of Makélelé was the beginning of the end for Los Galacticos… YOU CAN SEE THAT IT WAS ALSO THE BEGINNING OF A NEW DAWN FOR CHELSEA. He was the base, the key and I think he is the same to Chelsea now.”

    Zidane, Hierro, McManaman and iirc correctly (more) all spoke out against it, and there was far more outcry amongst Madrid fans and observers.

    So instead of trying to concoct this beautiful conspiracy of some ridiculously complex genius unprecedented masterstoke that resulted in as you put it:

    “the most amazing and sensational transfer, which was so brilliant that even Real Madrid fans and staff, still bursting with pride at yet again breaking the transfer record, could not believe that the club had let itself get into this position.”

    “A transfer so amazing that even those within the selling club are protesting.”

    Realize this has happened before, and several clubs have previously benefitted from Perez’ way of doing things and have used those specific players to win many titles.

    This is more about Madrid and Perez (as actual precedent and facts suggest, something that you haven’t offered) than us.

    We did what we had to do and did a damn good job of convincing Perez’ latest top quality makeweight player to join our club in the face of competition with the clock ticking.

    Why the need to try make it more than that with this convoluted invented tale that obviously is just as much about taking shots at your perceived enemies?

    I just don’t get it, and respectfully think you have done some damage to your credibility with this series.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Bootoomee Re:

    “In other word, leave the board and management of the club alone in peace to do their jobs. They are clearly better at them than the noisy fans and the pathetic media.

    Can the same ‘fans’ who have been breathing down the necks of these professionals teaching them how to do their jobs now focus on doing theirs which is supporting the team?

    Let’s hope they finally support the team or get out of the way by not undermining the manager and players in the course of doing theirs.”

    Are you suggesting that the noises from fans/media has some effect on the ability of the club’s management to do its job? Just curious.

  • A. Stewart

    @ sukebe re:

    “A. Stewart

    Wow you are really digging out to the very last bones…”

    Rather, I think I’m doing a service to a deeply complex 3-part theoretical series, by offering complex reasoned responses and thoughts.

  • Tristan, I am not at all sure we pulled Bendtner back. His problem is that he won’t accept lower wages and so is just staying.

    As for the forwards, I mentioned in the first article in the series that Wenger has a huge belief in Giroud and thus far this is being repaid. Further, we have Podolski and Theo both of whom can play and want to play in the number 9 position. I have also heard it said in several quarters that ozil is so multi-faceted that he can play in that position. Therefore it can be argued that we have cover for a player who did well in his first season here.

  • Matt

    Thanks. 2 quick posts suggests a little anger? Had to think of something a little bit more offensive to say?

    Well done!! I now feel very offended.

  • Unbelievable belief

    Nice trio of articles, Tony.
    You forgot gustavo – another decoy move who was not going to leave Germany.
    I was saying all summer that Arsene was playing RM at a game to get them enough speding money to fund Bale And sell us a player. I would have been very happy with Higgy, but Özol is on another level. He is a player, who at 24 we can build the entire team around for years to come. A bit less pressure on Jack and Aaron, and Arteta and Rosicky can be eased off on numbers of games played.

    It may not be quite the Grand Illumantri X-files conspiracy you suggest, but well played Arsese, well played! As sir red nose said, the guy could beat a Govan poker school at ther own game.

    Look at the tiny Totts spend £109m, sales £109.3m. £300,000 doesn’t get you much of a start on a new football stadium, does it?

  • Unbelievable belief

    Matt, at the risk of encouraging you….
    How is it obvious Arsenal need another striker?

  • Unbelievable belief

    A. Stewart 5:53pm
    The negativity and misconstrued activism has been having an effect on the players and the team performance. Look at he away games – far far more upbeat support.
    That is what arsenal supporters are supposed to do, not tell the board or manager how to run things, they are doing just fine as it is.

  • Harry

    ‘m still somewhat conflicted about a new contract for Wenger. The signing of Ozil was a huge morale booster, no question, and it has certainly improved our squad, and this action has been enough to give Wenger a bit more breathing space and maybe a bit more time if the board see fit. However, Ozil cannot fix all of the problems we currently have and he cannot compensate for our lack of proper defensive tactics and our shallow squad. If this is the start of more top tier signings and a new way of doing things then a new contract could be justified, but until that can be proven I think long term contract talks should wait. I know it sounds like I’m being negative, not trusting the club’s hierarchy without further proof, but I’m trying to be realistic. Ozil could be the next big player out the door (in a few years of course) if Wenger goes back to his old ways. I really want to believe that Wenger and the board have turned a corner, and maybe now that the new contract deals have come in this will actually happen, but I will maintain some level of doubt until I see a much larger scale change

  • AL

    Fine, lets assume Arsenal took advantage of a situation that developed when Madrid signed Bale. But does that explain why other clubs who were also desperate for a player in that position(in fact they were more desperate than us), of Ozil’s stature, not dive in and swipe him from right under our noses? Are we to believe they were not capable of that. After all this is the sort of thing we saw with Higuain – who could be argued to have been of a lesser value than Ozil, but still it didn’t stop another club throwing more cash on the table to hijack the deal.

    We know Higuain would’ve preferred to come to Arsenal had he had his way, if we are to believe comments attributed to his dad. But the selling club told him where they wanted him to go(because the other club was offering more money) and he ended up at Napoli against his wishes. If we now then apply the same theory to Ozil, we know PSG made an offer, and Utd are rumored to have put one too(player confirmed he rejected a move to either). So why did Madrid not apply the same principles of the Higuain sale and offer him to the highest bidder; PSG or Utd who will definitely have offered more money. We heard the player himself refused to join PSG or Utd and chose Arsenal instead. Why was Higuan’s personal preference ignored by Madrid, but Ozil’s refusal to join either PSG or United granted. Why were Ozil’s wishes respected, even though Madrid could’ve got more money from the other two teams, money which Madrid was desperate for. After all Madrid were only interested in one thing; to raise as much money as possible to fund the Bale transfer. That suggests to me Madrid felt some kind of loyalty to either Ozil, or Arsenal, which they felt they had to respect. Whether that was due to some prior verbal agreement with the player or Arsenal we will probably never know. I therefore refuse to buy the notion that we just took advantage of a situation Madrid found themselves in. There is more to this transfer than we know.

  • A. Stewart

    “I was saying all summer that Arsene was playing RM at a game to get them enough speding money to fund Bale And sell us a player. ”

    Madrid, well specifically Perez has been interested in Bale from before this summer, if Spurs were willing to deal last summer he would have been sold to them then.

    Therefore it was no secret to anyone in world football, that if and when they got Bale: 1) it was going to be for big money and 2)JUST AS BEFORE with shiny new purchases, very good players would leave/be forced out as a result.

    This year it was Higuain and Ozil as the headlining makeweights (and there were others like Callejon who made way for decent money).

    I think to suggest Higuain’s raise in price (to some here apparently designed by us with subsequent Suarez diversions to give Madrid more money to afford Bale) was more resultant from a calculated ploy by us, than, by the simple FACT (there haven’t been many of those thrown around recently) that Napoli sold Cavani for really big money and would need a replacement(s) with Higuain being then the only real actually-stated available top striker on the market…… is really unrealistic.

    Madrid got more money for Higuain due to pretty simple economics. Nothing more. With the sale of Cavani, there was now more DEMAND for the limited SUPPLY of one Higuain. And with a very interested buyer known to be recently flush with cash, his price raised.

    If anything it is Perez who further played a game masterfully and helped ensure Higuain’s price was raised with his retractions and subsequent statements about still wanting Higuain after he previously said he was available, thereby making a newly flush Napoli who wanted him increase their demand..But of course some here will read more into Wenger’s winks/smiles as a better play.

    And it’s not even like we got some genius bargain, we paid 43 million for Ozil, which is the going rate for a player of his quality.

    So like before when Perez goes on a galatico trip, very good players become available. This time it was Ozil as DiMaria was reportedly willing to play less/play in different roles as a result of Isco/Bale, and we swooped in to snap up a top quality Perez makeweight/castoff just as (Chelsea, Inter, Bayern and more have done before), and did a good job of convincing the player to come to us, with several obvoius advantages as to why he would choose us.

    And most importantly, had the money to, and didn’t dither about, paying the going rate for a top quality player (not like we had a choice with time running out, it’s either we were going to pay what a player like Ozil cost and get him or not and don’t get him).

    Pretty obvious and simple stuff really.

    This seems far more realistic than the 3-part conspiracy.

    And again, the FACT that Ozil is quoted (this is not verbatim) as saying along the lines that he was still planning on being/believed he would be a Madrid player up until transfer deadline weekend until it became obvious Madrid/Perez didn’t believe in him…doesn’t lend credibility to the theory of months of complex planning and diversion. And considering Bale was technically purchased before Ozil (at least in announcement) it seems a huge risk to hinge months of complex diversions and secret collusions and involvment of multiple competing parties all in the face of mounting pressure, on the final hours/minutes of the window and a player’s decision/choices in that expiring timeframe.

    For had Ozil been more concillatory than DiMaria perhaps it was DiMaria that would go, had Ozil at the last minute said, I’m going to fight for my place (as under contract players often do with a potential transfer looming), Bale would still have been already bought and the window would have been shut with both of them as Madrid players.

    Who in their right mind would base such a complex detailed intricate operation for months and months on a final few minutes of uncertainty?

    The blog refuses to address this, but rather wants to address obscure Wenger smiles etc as more realistic signs of a master play.

    We did what we had to do, paid what he had to pay, and took timely advantage of a top quality player who became available in vry short order.

    Nothing more.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Al: Re: “Fine, lets assume Arsenal took advantage of a situation that developed when Madrid signed Bale. But does that explain why other clubs who were also desperate for a player in that position(in fact they were more desperate than us), of Ozil’s stature, not dive in and swipe him from right under our noses? Are we to believe they were not capable of that. After all this is the sort of thing we saw with Higuain – who could be argued to have been of a lesser value than Ozil, but still it didn’t stop another club throwing more cash on the table to hijack the deal.”

    The answer is really simply, the desire of the player.

    He wanted to come to us over his other choice PSG and to a lesser extent supposedly United, and we did a great job of convincing him and making him feel wanted to come (as he siad). And we should be congratuled for that.

    They can’t force Ozil to go to PSG no matter how much cash they have, the player still has to agree.

    As mentioned above there are several reasons why Arsenal is a more attrative proposition, and some have been endored by Ozil’s own words.:

    -Style of play is closer to what he prefers (he said this)
    -More German team-mates, a manger that is fluent in the language.
    -Less competition in terms of numbers in the squad and big name players, so therefore he is guaranteed more playing time in a favored role than at PSG, which is especially important in a world cup year.
    -More stability (including managerial stability), which seems important to Ozil based on his comments regarding Madrid (and is very important in a world cup year).
    -PSG has a recent structure where its hierarchy and directors interfere with first team matters, therefore given that Ozil obviously suffered at Madrid precisely because of this, a club like Arsenal with no such interference nor even a director of football as at PSG and Madrid may be more appealing as a result.
    -Perhaps location and league were also more appealing.
    -And yes, Wenger.

    People always seem to have this misconcept of clubs being able to sell a player to wherever they want. It doesn’t work that way. The player has to agree. So it didn’t matter if big money PSG (by the way we paid handsomely for him and are paying him a handsome wage and raise) are able to “swoop in and hijack the deal” if Ozil saw Arsenal as the better option for his football and life.

    It’s really that simple.

    Again, I am not saying it was by accident that we got him…but that doesn’t mean the only other option to accept some unrealistic complex months long theory.

    He became suddenly available due to Pere’ (like others have before) desires based on the Bale(and isco) transfers, we did what we had to do, convinced the player, paid the going rate, and landed him…and it was a job well done.

  • Tristan

    Tony, this is what he said himself in a statement on the 3rd September:

    “It’s no secret that Arsenal and myself had agreed that I could leave the club during the 2013 summer transfer window subject to an agreement between all parties.

    An agreement had been reached with more than one club this week but as Arsenal were unable to secure the services of another striker, they reserved their right to not sanction any deal to be concluded”

    Now unless he’s lying, that is clear.

    I think we can agree Wenger did a FANTASTIC job on the phone to Özil, from what the player said himself. But to attribute the whole summer to one cunning plan just seems too far fetched and far from a satisfactory explanation. The fact remains, however, that I believe this signing will be a huge turning point in the history of the club. And whether you like it or not, what Wenger has done is indeed ‘spend some f**king money’ like many supporters have been asking for a long time. Now he has, we are much happier!! (as are you I imagine? Better with £43m Özil, or better without?). That was all we were asking. And he’s now shown that when he does, he can get it spectacularly right! 🙂

  • A. Stewart

    “We know Higuain would’ve preferred to come to Arsenal had he had his way, if we are to believe comments attributed to his dad. But the selling club told him where they wanted him to go(because the other club was offering more money) and he ended up at Napoli against his wishes.”

    You defeat your point with “had he had his way”.. He didn’t, that’s the point. Madrid said there was no actual bid, Wenger has recently said that he wasn’t a special target or whatever, so that suggests they may have been mutual INTEREST (which helped raise his demand) but Higuain didn’t have the actual choices between clubs, and thus didn’t “have his way”, and choices as Ozil did.

    At the end of the day, he knew he had to leave, it’s a world cup year on top of everything. And it’s not just this summer that Madrid and specifically Perez has been trying to getting rid of him, Perez’ campaign against him is well documented and has existed for years.

    So with, yes, interest from Arsenal, but only a real solid offer from Napoli (a team that could offer him champions league football), that’s where he went.

    Ozil as it’s being reported had actual choices and bids ready between us, PSG and even United (so they say).

    It’s really that simple.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Unbelievable belief, there’s a reason I wanted Bootoomee to specifically answer that question, so I will save my response for him, if he chooses to answer.

  • AL

    A. Stewart
    Are you suggesting Higuain’s choice was Napoli over Arsenal then? Also, while you explain Ozil’s reasons for choosing Arsenal over PSG, you don’t explain why he may have chosen us over Utd. I would actually like to believe he would be more guaranteed of playing time at Utd than at Arsenal, not to mention more money.

    But while your response doesn’t answer all the questions, you at least acknowledge that our manager would’ve been a factor that attracted such a top talent to our club, something certain fans seem incapable of appreciating.

  • A.Stewart,

    You are wasting your time. I am not interested in a pseudo-philosophical thesis writing contest with you. My comment is simple enough. If you don’t get it, then too bad; especially as the resident ‘intellectual’ around here.

  • The font

    OZILL to the. ARSENAL. OZILL. To the ARSENAL OZILL. To the ARSENAL

    and if he scores

    OZILL For the. ARSENAL. OZILL. for. The. ARSENAL. OZILL for. The. ARSENAL

  • Unbelievable belief

    a. Stewart.
    I didn’t ask you a question.
    In any event I didn’t want to read war and fack’n peace.

    Can you not be more concise in your posts? This isn’t your own blog.
    That was a question.

  • Pat

    I like the chant, The font. I’m singing it now.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Unbelievable belief agree three hundred thousand will not go far with the totts stadium plans whatever they are now but have a hunch they will be asking rather a lot of the uk tax payer to help them out despite being owned by a billionaire and selling a player for a world record not to mention all the new tv funding coming in

  • Unbelievable belief

    Mandy, isn’t that billionaire living somewhere tax free?
    UK tax payers like to know these things from welfare recipients.
    There is also the question of spending all they got from Bale on new players.

    And whose names are going to sell on spuds 2013 season shirts? hahah.

  • AL

    A. Stewrat
    Sorry I hadn’t seen your 7:05pm post, or I wouldn’t have repeated the question about Higuain. I beg to differ though; his dad came out and said Madrid had given them permission to speak with Arsenal, who had made them a great offer which was at an advanced stage, and he was going to be lucky to see his son ‘in the prem very soon’. Lets remember that his father happens to be his agent as well, and he was speaking to Argentine TV so no possibility he was misquoted. So its fair to say we can conclude that the player himself wanted to join Arsenal.

  • Notoverthehill

    Tony, I cannot conceive any reason, for A Stewart to assume that you are a rival author!

    Currently The Arsenal are trading at a LOSS, for the present Financial Year of 2013/2014. Based on the FACTS of the last 5 Annual Financial Reports.

    Mr Gazidis has never given a sum stating that this is the Budget for Mr Wenger’s Transfers and Wages! Never, only money is available.

    The only references I have seen is that about £10 millions is a significant or substantial amount.

    IF, The Arsenal use their Banking Borrowing Facility of £50 millions, then and only then, is the £70 millions Transfer Budget feasible!

    The current Executive Committee of the AST, are a lying and conniving clique of Anti-American misfits.

  • Unbelievable belief

    Has Matt gone off to another blog to find his opinion on whether arsenal need more strikers?

  • Unbelievable belief

    NOTH
    Agree completely.
    Arsenal do however have very substantial cash reserves, the ‘rainy day’ money. It can’t be used to pay off the remaining stadium debt, do you think this was dipped into for Özil’s Tranfer?
    Otherwise what’s if for?, it provides a financial safety net in case we ever lost out on qualifying for a UCL season.
    But the the money is dormant, (Arsenal are extracting themselves from the property game) and no business likes having dead money on its books.

  • Stuart

    Tony,
    Any chance of a character limit for responses?

  • bjtgooner

    An interesting mini series of articles. The important thing at the end of the day was that we signed a world class player strengthening our already good core.

    I can understand the need for AW to be ultra cautious about revealing his true target, the scrutiny he was under this summer was almost unbelievable. Perhaps the term “scrutiny” is insufficient – “scrutiny with evil intent” would perhaps more adequately describe the way AW was viewed and reported by the media, the plonkers from the AAA and various unhinged bloggers this last summer.

    It will be interesting to see how AW integrates Ozil into the team, no doubt he will arrange that as a seamless progression, building on the excellent status quo. Unfortunately, the preparations for Sunderland are not helped by injuries to Walcott & Rosicky. I saw the tackle on Walcott – a pre-meditated take out from behind. Lets hope both recover quickly.

  • bjtgooner

    One additional point – re the AST – if those involved in the disgraceful comments about AW’s contract have not got the manners to apologize voluntarily, should the club not demand that they to do so?

  • bjtgooner

    @Unbelievable belief

    I suspect Matt is off for a spot of Nitrous Oxide.

  • Tristan

    Come on Tony, don’t publish this one, but at least publish the last! We’re all on the same side!

  • Adam

    I still cannot believe that we signed Ozil. But it’s time to let the lad settle, I’m dreading the thugs of the prem setting out to upend him, I want to see solidarity in the squad now and a no nonsense attitude towards the thugs even if that means a square off when that first challenge comes in on him.

    Time for this squad to stand up and become what we hope they can.

    We all want to see that ruthless streak return.

    COYG.

  • americangooner

    Unbelievable belief, In some of other old threads in UA, I had requested that A. Stewart write an article and send it to Untold rather than make a thesis like comment, which only a few would ever read. That way maybe someone might be able to nitpick on his words and give a numbered point-by-point comment. It seems he did not oblige OR his article wasn’t accepted. Given that he has lot to say, I am presuming he also has a blog or whatever.

  • Shard

    Tony,

    Is this what you think could have happened, or are you saying this is what happened?

  • Tony,
    I believe that the totality of your post was an attempt to reconstruct the events leading to the acquisition of a very fine football talent – Mesut Ozil – by AFC. Your reconstruct may be wrong partly or in whole, but to say that it was a simple opportunistic effort on the part of AFC as some are using pints of ink to prove smells of envy and a lack of humility. That others may be also intelligent and capable of non-too-obvious moves to achieve an objective is to them impossible, since all the intelligence resides with these writers!

    Your post made a lot of sense even if it sounds far fetched, we may not learn the truth of the matter until AW speaks, maybe after his retirement. Until then please do not allow yourself to be disconsolate from the remarks from such ‘intellectuals’ wish them well and continue to do a good job of informing and entertaining us on your blog.

  • A. Stewart

    americangooner…sorry I must have missed or don’t remember where you suggested that. I didn’t submit any article, nor am I planning to. I also have no blog of any king. Lastly, I don’t expect everyone or even most to read what I have to write.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Al: “So its fair to say we can conclude that the player himself wanted to join Arsenal.”

    I completely agree with that, I’m not at all disputing that it seems as though he wanted to join arsenal. That wasn’t my point.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Al: “A. Stewart
    Are you suggesting Higuain’s choice was Napoli over Arsenal then?”

    No.

  • A. Stewart

    “Can you not be more concise in your posts? This isn’t your own blog.”
    @ Unbelieveable Belief, I can definitely try, my sincerest apoligies for the lengths of some of my posting. Sometimes I just have a lot to say. Sorry.

  • A. Stewart

    “You are wasting your time. I am not interested in a pseudo-philosophical thesis writing contest with you. My comment is simple enough. If you don’t get it, then too bad; especially as the resident ‘intellectual’ around here.”

    No problem then Bootoomee, I won’t go any further with that then.

    Me? The resident ‘intellectual’?

    If you genuinely think I’m intellectual, thanks for the compliment friend.

    Personally I think of myself and have referred to myself as such, as just any other gooner out there with an opinion(s), no more right or wrong, or better or worse or smarter or dumber than any other gooner who loves Arsenal Football Club.

  • Mark

    Mesut turned down the chance to go to PSG, seemingly on the grounds that he knows financial insanity when he sees it…

    Debatable…. But a very interesting article nonetheless